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Thread: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

  1. #1

    Unhappy Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    My dd#2 is 4 mos today. About 3wks ago she started to refuse to nurse in our normal chair but would nurse just fine laying down in bed. Whenever we would nurse anywhere but bed, she would be extremely distracted. We got her ears pierced about 1.5wks ago(thursday). (biggest mistake ever!!) A few days after that(Monday) she started fighting nursing in bed as well, and it has only gotten worse. Tuesday she started pulling at one of her ears, and we took the earrings out on Wed. They seem to have healed well, but she is still refusing to nurse most of the day. She nurses when she first wakes up, and then at night well...but the only way I can get her to nurse during the day is to put a cartoon on she can watch, but that only helps a little, and doesnt help every time. (up until now she has not been allowed to watch any tv) She will take a bottle just fine, but we dont give her bottles hardly at all. I am a sahm so she has only had a few bottles her entire life.

    I am at a loss here. I have tried different positions, I have tried teething tablets, ibuprofen, frozen wash cloths, teething rings...and nothing is helping during the day. She arches her back the moment I put her into position and cries. I am already taking fenugreek and lactation blend, I also pump a lot now during the day since she wont eat much...but I fear this is having a negative affect on my supply.

    I'm sorry this is so long, I am just out of ideas and the thought of giving her bottles and her not nursing directly breaks my heart, let alone formula. She used to nurse so well, no matter where we were. I have read a few articles on kellymom about nursing strikes (i dont thnk thats what this is), as well as distracted babies.

    One other thing I have noticed that started at the same time, she is EXTREMELY fussy, and she has never been a fussy baby, and she requires constant stimulation and attention when she is awake. More than she ever has. She learned how to reach for things yesterday. IDK if any of this is relevant but I wanted to be as detailed as possible.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    My son was extremely fussy when he was 4 months old. He had some nasty spells of evening fussiness when he was a newborn, but had been otherwise a very happy baby until 4 months. At 4 months he seemed pretty angry all. the. time. He got over it around 5 months, but most of 4 months was miserable for us and that's not terribly uncommon from what I understand. Babies are getting more alert and active at 4 months, and that can be a difficult transition for some. Mine was very distractible at the time too.

    Here are some things that I did during that time to help my baby nurse during his screaming spells and distractibility:

    1. Latch/nurse while walking with my baby in a sling/carrier or my arms. This helped with both fussing and distractibility. I liked the Ergo for distractibility because it has a hood to keep outside distractions concealed.
    2. Latch/nurse while bouncing my baby on my knee.
    3. Latch/nurse while rocking and singing.
    4. Nurse with music playing.
    5. Nurse outside while on a walk with my son in the sling/carrier or sitting on the deck.
    6. Nurse in the bath.
    7. Use a nursing necklace.

    You might also want to take your daughter to her doctor for a check up to rule out an ear infection or other medical issue. Ear infections are a common cause for a reluctance to nurse.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    great ideas above. Four months is so notorious an age for weird nursing behavior the authors of the new 8th edition of The Womanly art of Breastfeeding coined the term "The four month fussies" for it.

    If baby does not like the positons you nursing in during the day, have your changed the position? At this age you should both be so great at nursing that you cna fiddle around and find any number of optional positions.

    I would suggest you try to not give a bottle in frustration. It is unlikley a healthy 4 month old will starve herself, she knows what she needs to do to get milk. Just keep cue feeding and even gently offering to nurse whenever.

    See more ideas here: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

  4. #4

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    I have tried every position I can think of at all times of the day. The only bottles she has gotten have been in the car(less than an oz) bc she was freaking out, and one 1.5oz bottle at home yesterday (just to see how she did). I am refusing to give her a bottle when we are out and about or at home...she just gets sooooo mad whenever I attempt to offer her the breast.

    We have our 4 mo check up scheduled for Tues. I am keeping track of the times she eats and her wet diapers now to show the doc.

    Thanks ladies!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    well I am thinking it is painful to nurse then. So that would be (most likely) an ear infection or reflux. You do not have forceful letdown, do you?
    Will she still nurse laying down?

    Also re: bottles, I did not mean starve baby into nursing, I realized later that is how it sounded. Often moms give bottles at the drop of the hat but based on your posts you are not going to do that. SO If baby will not nurse at all, of course baby will need to be given sustenance somehow.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    No forceful let down that I know of. I know it used to be a lot b/c her tongue would make a clicking noise when I let down but she hasnt done that in a couple months.

    I knew what you meant about the bottles She nurses a bit during the day. Like today I had to turn on a cartoon and she would lazily nurse a little while watching it. We normally dont let her watch any tv that we are watching, but if it gets her to nurse then I am willing to do it I guess. We just took a bath together for the first time today, she kicked and jumped and expended a ton of energy, then I set her straddling my leg facing me and she nursed a bit. When we got out of the bath I didnt even get her dressed, just wrapped a diaper around her and went straight to her room in the rocker and she nursed like a champ First time in a week that she was willing to do that, especially on her right side. This was also almost an hour after some tylenol.

    I am really hoping that its an ear infection and not teething. At least we can fix an ear infection...we cant fix teething.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    Wow good breakthrough today, Keep working on it. Even if it is teething I bet she comes back to comfort nursing.

    Re: TV. I understand your concern there, my husband and I very strictly limit the kids TV and in fact all screen media. My kids don't watch even kids tv or play kids computer games-maybe once every couple of months we will watch something. We are hardcore like that. But when they were infants and I nursed all day and was going stir crazy? Uh, yeah. I watched whatever I wanted to and babies watched too. Hours every day. As far as I am concerned, you get a big old pass if you are using TV to help you nurse.

    But it gets me thinking what is it about the TV that calms her or whatever and helps her nurse? My kids mostly ignored the TV at that age. Is it the noise, the images, the movement? So I wonder if, if there is ever a time YOU do not want to watch cartoons, if maybe another moving object or sound source-like a rotating fan, a sound machine, or a magic lantern or lava lamp or something would have a similar effect? Just musing.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    She used to love fans, but they dont do it for her. Up until a week ago, she was a very very sensitive baby. When we would go out somewhere or people would come over and play with her, she would have fussiness at night and not let me put her down. Hence why I was so reluctant to let her watch tv. Its like she gets in a trance when she watches it. If I am watching tv (which has been my only saving grace through nursing) and she catches it she will get in the same trance. She never ignores the tv lol

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    Oh yeah, my oldest was/is like that, super sensitive and easily fussy. I don't remember anything negative about the tv veiwing at this age, but when he was about 9 months old I plunked him down in front of the baby einsteins and his behavior was like that-trancelike, but in his case it was an unhappy trance! he had a big frown on the whole time. And he threw a giant tantrum when I turned it off. It took me a while to realize it was the TV itself affecting his mood in a way I did not like, and that started us down the no media route.

    Well, really ot. Sorry!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help for my 4mo

    Well, today has been a bit better. We actually ventured out of the house and went to babies r us. She was sleepy and ready for a nap so I took her to the mommy's room to try and nurse her. She latched sitting up, straddling my leg for a few seconds, then looked around, then latched and looked around. This went on for a few min, then she was done. She fell asleep in her car seat on the way home and when we got home, I took her out and layed down in bed with her and she nursed to sleep. She woke up rather quickly after she stopped nursing and was up for about an hour, then was ready for a nap again. So we went upstairs, she fought it a little but then latched and nursed to sleep. It seems to be a little better, but I also gave her ibuprofen when she woke up, and then tylenol 4 hours later. I figured I have tried everything else, we will try a day of med to see if that helps a bit. So far it has. We will see how this evening goes though.

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